Iran to Boost Military Spending, Expand Missile Capabilities

A military truck carrying Shalamcheh missiles drives past the presidential rostrum during the annual Army Day military parade on April 18, 2014 in Tehran. On the right is a portrait of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty

(REUTERS) – Iranian lawmakers approved plans on Monday to expand military spending to five percent of the budget, including developing the country’s long-range missile program which U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to halt.

The vote is a boost to Iran’s military establishment – the regular army, the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and defense ministry – which was allocated almost 2 percent of the 2015-16 budget.

But it could put the Islamic Republic on a collision course with the incoming Trump administration, and fuel criticism from other Western states which say Tehran’s recent ballistic missile tests are inconsistent with a U.N. resolution on Iran.

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